Ever wonder how Olympians get to the world stage? Conditioning your body on a regular bases for the extreme riggers of being a world class athlete is no easy fete. There is a science to training for football, baseball, soccer and other popular sports, but when it comes to snowboarding it is all relatively new.
Since snowboarding hit Olympic status back in 1998, professional athletes and coaches have been taking a much closer look at how to improve and develop the skills of these young athletes. Many of the workouts are a closely guarded secret, as are the workouts of many Olympic athletes. But we did manage to find a few.
We’ve found 3 US Olympic snowboarders, past and present, that were willing to share their tricks of the trade. This will be a surefire way to increase your strength, endurance and balance no matter what style you run down the slopes.
(Photo: Nathan Bilow / NBC Sports)
2018 is Kelly’s 5th Olympic Games with already one gold (2002) and two bronze (2010 and 2014) she is still hungry for more. Kelly also holds the title as the “Winningest Snowboarder Ever”
Not many athletes stay in competitive shape to reach five-time olympian status, but Kelly breaks the mold. Here’s how…
Balance is obviously key in the world of snowboarding. Kelly works on this by standing on a Bosu ball with the round side down. You should maintain your balance by keeping your knees bent and your chest upright. “Once you master balance simply standing, have a friend lightly hit the top of the ball. You’ll have to catch your balance”, says Kelly.
Having good technique in the gym will translate to good technique on the slopes. Keeping a constant eye on your posture and positioning will have a dramatic impact on performance. In other words, no slowching!!
We all have a side that we favor. Snowboarding everyone stands either regular or goofy. With your back leg driving you will tend to favor this leg in the gym. Make sure you pay close attention to your non-dominant leg to keep your workout even and not favoring one side.
Nothing fancy and no special equipment needed. Running the stairs is great way to build your cardio, which is a major cornerstone spending all day out on the slopes. “It’s an easy way to build up (cardio) anywhere you are”, Kelly says.
This fierce competitor from Vermont is a 3 time Olympian, striking gold in 2006 and silver in 2010 in Women’s Halfpipe. She also has a whole stack of medals over the passed decade from X-Games, US Open, US Grand Prix, Australian Open, and an 8-time World Cup medalist. Hannah even has her own Ben and Jerry’s flavor, Maple Blondie.
This 5’ 6” titan is no joke, and with the training regime below we see why. Here are some of the workouts she does.
Circuit 1 - 45-second intervals
- Mini-Hurdle Push-Up to Dip
- Suspended Upside-Down Crunch
- Lateral Cable One-Arm Chest Press
- Jump rope
- Alternating Wave Battling Ropes
- Straddled Box Jump (with weight)
- TRX Jackknifes (double-leg bent, single-leg bent, double-leg straight)
- Seated Sled Rows
- Hip Bridge with One-Arm Plate Reach
- Med Ball Squat Jumps with Overhead Slam
- Lateral Step Hop to Burpee
- Double Physioball Push-Up
- One-Leg BOSU Battling Ropes
- Sit-Up with Physioball Throw
- TRX One-Legged Burpee with Squat Jump
- Explosive Clapping Push-Up
Follow Hannah @hannahteter (instagram link)
Since her silver medal from the 2006 Olympics in Women’s Halfpipe, this two-time Olympian hasn’t slowed down at all. Gretchen is also no stranger to the X-Games, being a three-time Winter X-Games champion. Even though now retired from being a professional snowboarder after 14 years, she still keeps here skills up and uses these 3 “go-to workouts” to stay in shape.
How to do it: Lie facedown with your arms extended out to your sides. Begin by raising your legs, arms, and chest off the ground at the same time. Then, keeping your arms straight, move both arms forward until they are extended out in front of you. At this point your body should be in a straight line. Move your arms back to starting position and lower your legs, arms, and chest to the ground. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets 10 reps.
Pushup to Pike
How to do it: Get into pushup position with hands directly below your shoulders. Instead of anchoring your feet on the ground, place your feet on an exercise ball. Begin the motion by engaging your core and rolling the ball in towards your chest with your feet (keep your legs straight). You will be in a pike position at the top of the movement. Slowly roll the ball back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
How to do it: Hold a kettlebell in both hands and stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Perform a squat. As you lower into the squat, your legs and knees should bow out to the sides. Your back should be straight and your torso slightly forward. As you return to the starting position, release and catch the kettle bell quickly. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Find out more about Gretchen Bleiler as an athlete, entrepreneur, key-note speaker and more at gretchenbleiler.com.
Watch the US snowboarding team and other Olympians compete streaming live on www.nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule
Grab your snowboarding gear at The-House.com.